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Sunken non-treasures

Why the rise of ships from the Golden Horn is expensive and not needed

Sunken non-treasures

Vladimir Rakov

Senior Researcher of the Pacific Oceanological Institute Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of the Department of Biodiversity and Marine Bioresources of the School of Natural Sciences of the Far Eastern Federal University, Doctor of Biological Sciences

For the first time in the history of Vladivostok, scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University conducted research work (research) on the study of the Golden Horn Bay for the presence of sunken ships. The first stage has been completed, the scientific report has been sent to the customer. Environmentalists of the FEFU have already begun to analyze the material in order to develop and propose measures for the rehabilitation of the bay. In fact, for 156 years of the port's existence, there have been big changes. All the coastal shallow waters filled and converted into berths, which are made near the dredging at the bottom accumulated a lot of dirt and debris from the land continually receive wastewater and from ships and storage facilities - oil products and compositions comprising them a bilge water. 

In the course of performing research using submarine robotics, scientists of the Far-Eastern Federal University and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences used diving methods of hydrobiological research, oceanographic probes, bathometers, electromagnetometers and other instruments. This makes it possible to estimate the composition of biota, the thickness of bottom sediments, determine the degree of their contamination, to detect zones of hypoxia (the absence of oxygen in water), and hydrogen sulfide contamination. Numerous sunken objects, including small vessels, have been discovered. 

If we talk about the courts, they are often drowned here: after serving their term, being put out of action or because of accidental circumstances. So, the biggest vessel was the Alexander Obukhov plant, which sank with people right at the berth 4 May 1982 year. He was picked up, as well as other large vessels, drowning at the piers, usually in "Dalzavod" area, where they stood in its damaged state, waiting for their turn to repair or cut "nails". But smaller vessels - boats, barges, motobots - were often not timely raised after flooding, and then they forgot about them. That's exactly such and found during the survey of the bay this year.

 For shipping, they do not pose a great danger, since the places of flooding of some are shown on navigational charts, in sailing directions. Information is given in the bulletin "Navigational Notice to Mariners". Others are at great depths and while shipping does not interfere. To find out their names and affiliations currently it does not make sense, since many "masters" do not exist (for example, eliminated in 1990-years association "Primorrybprom", "Vostokrybholodflot" and others). Some ships belonged to the military departments. There are no ancient vessels that would be of historical value, especially from a tree that has been corroded by marine woodworms in a matter of years - ship worms. 

The rise of wrecks for the purification of the waters of the Golden Horn Bay is not yet justified and economically unjustified, and in some cases simply dangerous to the environment - will be even worse. If the ships interfere with navigation, they can, of course, be picked up. But this is quite an expensive operation, and in our sea waters like hundreds. So, only in the Bay of Labor on the island of Russian whole "ship graveyard". Usually it is sunken in shallow water, as everything that was above the surface of the water has already been cut off and sold as scrap metal, and the rest is unprofitable, and dangerous.  

Sunken ships are in all the ports of the Far East, and they are not always raised - sometimes it is easier to fence with piles, sprinkle with rocky soil and make quays here. So often do in Kamchatka, Sakhalin and in Primorye. 

In recent years, ships are also drowning, although less frequently than before. I remember how in the 1960-ies many decommissioned old fishing boats were brought to the Amur Bay to the south of the Peschanaya Peninsula, where they were left at anchor and "accidentally" set on fire, after which they immediately drowned. No one is going to pick them up, and for half a century their corps and superstructures rusted for a long time, collapsed, and left the bottom sediments. 

Of course, wrecks pollute seawater, at least with metals, especially iron. But the concentrations of iron in sea water are usually very high, even where there are no sunken ships. This is due to the fact that along the coast of Primorsky Krai, deposits and whole deposits of iron and magnetic iron ore are widely distributed - navigational maps show magnetic declination in such areas. In addition, many iron ions are carried out with river flow. Thus, sunken vessels are only an additional source of this metal, to high concentrations of which many hydrobionts are adapted. Non-ferrous metals on wrecks are present in smaller quantities and they are often removed or cut down by divers. Bronze details on wrecks are not a powerful source of water contamination with copper, tin and silver, of which alloy they are made. 

A much greater danger to the environment may be the remains of fuel in tanks or tanks of sunken ships. However, they often drown with empty tanks or fuel residues gradually flow through fuel lines. And if the remnants of many years are in tanks, they coke or turn into a solid substance - asphalt. 

Therefore, the few small ships that sank in the Golden Horn many decades ago do not pose a serious environmental hazard, and only in extreme cases it makes sense to raise them. Almost all such wrecks have long functioned as artificial reefs. They are overgrown with a thick layer of algae, shells of mollusks, houses of barnacles, balanus, polychaete worms, colonies of bryozoans and sponges ... These communities of "fouling" of sunken ships and other objects actively purify water from suspended particles, dissolved organic matter, that is, they participate in the biological self-purification of water bodies ... For this reason, sunken ships and some other objects should not be lifted.
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